Here’s the thing about social media: the vast majority of people are not there to find a new engineering company. They’re there for fun, to keep up with friends, the news — perhaps even industry news — and in many cases, expecting to see content that interests them.
They’re not looking for some stat that shows how your SaaS platform makes businesses 67 per cent more secure. They’re looking for stories. Something to read for a few minutes before moving on with their day.
But companies can still do good social media — though the first that come to many people’s minds are B2C. Let’s read some tweets for context.
Denny's posts a weird joke about bread.
Wendy's pairs its never-frozen beef claim with the Frozen 2 trailer discussion.
And Old Spice and Taco Bell get into a polite conversation.
Alright, so it’s one thing for Denny’s to post jokes, Wendy’s to get in on the Frozen 2 trailer hype, and Old Spice to sass Taco Bell, but these companies can all afford to go a bit risky on a large scale, because they’re targeting a general public that’s, ultimately, down to watch fast food duke it out with deodorant — and of course, in the context, Old Spice and Taco Bell are both in on the joke.
So B2B Is Different, Right?
In many ways. You’re targeting people in professional contexts, and while that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun, it does mean that the damage a bad approach can deal is a whole lot harder to mend.
You’re dealing with far fewer, far more valuable leads than “anyone who might want a burger about now”, and losing one because your Twitter account is acting immature is likely far worse than the vanity metrics on a viral tweet are good.
But what these brands are still doing, at the heart of it, is telling their story. In cases like Old Spice, they’re emphasizing the offbeat brand image they’ve already spent time building. In others, like Denny’s and Wendy’s, they’ve created a whole new story and personality that may even be at odds with a more wholesome, traditional idea people may have of the companies. But they gave it a shot and it worked.
And there are plenty of other examples of good corporate social media that aren’t going the edgy route — what ties them all together is that same idea: telling their stories, not just pushing their products.
How To Do Good B2B Social Media
Okay, so let’s discuss what you’re really here for: how to do good B2B social media.
Tell Your Story
Every company has a story. You could be a 100+ person SaaS operation, a small, 10-person Managed Services Provider, or anything in-between or beyond.
Whatever it is, you have talented employees, smart leadership, and you’re helping other businesses succeed. You have day-to-day triumphs, contacts who look to you for guidance, and possibly a local business community you’re in-tune with. You’ll have attended conferences or trade shows, seen your product work wonders — and maybe you’ve seen it fall short and had to adapt.
Go ahead and auto-publish those blog posts. Even better, write up specific posts to promote your content. But a salesperson wouldn’t stop after emailing a pitch deck. They’d talk up how awesome the company is and explain about all the amazing people ready to get to work with the client’s problem. They’d be talking about all the ways the product has helped others.
Consider your social media additional proof that all the nice things the sales department is saying are true. Involve the people on your team. Show them off. Share good news. Be a little fun. If you treat your social media like you want to see some strict ROI on every tweet: you’ll fail.
It’s “social” media. What makes this platform unique from traditional media is the ability for anyone to respond to anything. You’re not a press release machine pumping out rigid information in the hopes that someone bites — you’re a friendly, accessible, helpful resource.
So act like it. Don’t just add fifty dead hashtags and call it a day. Go a little deeper. Prompt conversations by asking your followers questions. If you don’t have enough to get anything going, actively track down people and companies with problems or asking their own questions, and get yourself involved in those discussions.
No one responded to your blog? Respond to someone else’s and build your brand.
And this is where you might also want to go beyond just a corporate account. Get your sales reps, perhaps some of your marketing experts, actively engaging on social media — at least on LinkedIn.
Remember: above all, be helpful. The majority of your posts should not be actively trying to sell a product. People aren’t on social media to be sold to. But if you demonstrate your value, they’ll be a lot more likely to give you the time it takes to write 280 characters.
Quick B2B Social Media Tips
Want some quick ideas? Sure!
- Profile your in-house experts on a rotating basis and gush about how awesome they are
- Local business, or prospect of any kind posts something you can help with? Get involved!
- Office potluck? Post some photos and show off your culture!
- National Pet Day? And you have a pet-friendly office? That’s social media gold!
- Your team just earned a major win? Write up a quick post and celebrate!
- Attending an event? Give a trusted attendee the credentials, a pep-talk, and just let them loose!
We can help you develop a better B2B social media strategy that tells your story too! And a lot more besides. We've helped more than 70 B2B companies across Canada and the US achieve their growth goals through a smart mix of inbound marketing and sales. Get in touch if you're looking to take your B2B company and undergo aggressive growth.